Sometimes, my predictions do pan out. Even if it was a fifty/fifty prediction (though whenever there is a true or false question I always seem to get it wrong).
So we lost to Cambridge. In a way that could be described as painful. Or painfully close.
It had been scrappy, bitty and hard all the way. We both swapped mistakes. Scores going into the final round were 32-29 to Cambridge. Then they dropped the ball on Cromwell's massacre at Drohegda, saying it had happened at Dunleary. Kathryn got the bonus. It had turned into a "three-point
" game, meaning that the match can be decided on the last question that each team get. Being number four, I get a question, the last question, about a market town in Wiltshire that has a restored castle or something or other (I don't know, I seem to just scan questions when I hear them nowadays as well). The scores are 33-34. If I get two points, we win. The only answer I can think of is Devizes, purely because it is the only market town I can think of in Wiltshire. To be honest, I'm not even sure it has a castle. I'm wavering in the corridor of uncertainty. Then I see Kathryn putting a hand out, shaking it a bit. I think: "Why not go for the draw .... yeah". So I pass it for one. Kathryn says: "Corfe
". My instant reaction is that "oh, I thought it was in Dorset". Andrew, the question master says incorrect and passes it over. Jesse has his fist out (which might as well be a knife aimed at my heart). He says Devizes. It is right. Cambridge win by two points.
As SIR Ben Kingsley says in an amusing New Yawk accent in Sneakers: "Dee-saz-ter". It was raining outside. The weather reflected my suddenly sullen disposition. Then I felt a little depressed. Not disappointed, mind you, which I think is far worse in a quiz. A little depressed in that victory could have been grasped but was chucked away. A little depressed in that I had deja vu about this. Passing on the bonus, supposedly into safety, and finding it going to the other team or oblivion - it's happened before. Of course, there is a slim chance that they won't get it, but the opposition always does. It is writ in nature's laws. Mistakes on the last question are punished dearly. Ouch. Oooh.
The moral could be never quiz again. Also, it could be always go for the win, never settle for the draw. Draws are for Italian teams built on rock solid calcio
, and not for flakey quizzers. So it's either death or glory for me from now on. Be bloody selfish (until the next time). It's happened against Chester Army and now Cambridge - history is trying to teach me a lesson involving illustrative examples of hansom cabs and Wiltshire castles. The funny thing is, if I was forced to go for the draw by answering for two-points, I would have done so. Ouch. Ooh.
And Jesse even got both bloody counties question! Man alive. Surely, the gods were grimacing at us.
Anyway, these things happen. We're a new team and we'll learn from our mistakes. At the moment it is an experiment (much like our first two seasons in the QLL). Two of our team members have only just started playing the quiz league format properly, so inevitably hand signals and organisation is likely to go awry without some team-talks that I feel may be a bit patronising. Also, you learn what your team-mates' strengths and weaknesses over time (a questionnaire seems a bit formal). In the scheme of things, I don't really care about the stellar heights my average might reach (I was being flippant, which people mistake for a lot of other things) and naturally would like our team to do a lot better. We are capable, but it's just getting used to things that is the problem. This is the teething period.
I have been advised that you never captain from four, so maybe I will pass the responsibilities to others. Being an even more experienced league quizzer than me, Peter is entirely right about our tactics needing to improve. But neither can you ever say to yourself that one question cost you the draw or the win, whether it is about Ken Doherty or Devizes or Perth hosting the 1962 Commonwealth Games. It is the sum of them, and your opponents' ability to answer questions. When it comes down to the last player, it is the cumulative actions of the group that have decided the game, not the single crucial question. Although your feelings at the end say otherwise.
In my BH team our signalling and tactics are never discussed in any detail whatsoever, purely because we rely on overwhelming bredth and depth of knowledge to win us matches. Even if we tweaked that, or just became more aware of the players around us then we might be even better. I dunno, experience and interaction endows you with that kind of wisdom doesn't it? Hopefully, things will come right in the end.The FriendlyPresident’s Cup friendly 19/2/06
I wrote another friendly. It scored 47-30 to UC Alumni, no doubt helped by the fact Roger had switched sides. I have tended to set them from ideas in the Saturday newspapers since news is the ore from which many quiz questions are mined, and was asked after round 3: "Are we getting away from the newspapers now
?" (or something along those lines). See, I told you everyone hates current affairs, apart from people who set current affairs quizzes.
Andrew mentioned that there was "home-setters' advantage
" and he's probably right. But it's like an Indian groundsman preparing a dust bowl for his country's spinners. It's not malicious, it's just what we know. If you give somebody the frame, they will fill the blank in with what most interests them (I admit it, I like putting jazz and fashion in, if such subjects are proscribed then what about canals and aqueducts or other archaic British engineering?), not with stuff they hate. Anyway, this is the first time a friendly quiz of mine has been scored 40s-30s since the last Cambridge match. I am going soft, it seems. Or perhaps jaded by my own determination to pump out new friendlies every time a new President's Cup match comes up. It's bloody knackering looking for Jack and Jill pairs on a Sunday morning. But I have to look on the bright side and see that it is doing me some good in terms of learning (and it also means I am sharpening my skills on all three areas of question-setting: the short, ten-word for; long buzzer quiz, and quiz league pairing - sorry, if that makes no sense to you, but an apology is better than having your arse bored off by rules and points of order).
Also, words of advice: never set questions while on an internet telephone thing in Kings Cross and always make sure the pairs go to opposing teams. Knowing you are the cause of confusion is embarrassing.
(I've starred the questions that went unanswered by both teams)Round 1
1a Anne Rule’s true crime book The Stranger Beside Me
recounts the life of which American serial killer, with whom she once worked at a Seattle suicide hotline in the 70s when he was a clean-cut young Republican?
1b Ansell Henry, Michelle Dewberry, Benedict Stanberry and Ruth Badger are among the 14 competitors in the second series of which BBC2 TV show?
2a Known for such works as Children on the Shore
, which woman was the only American painter to ever exhibit with the French impressionists?
2b The American painter John Singer Sergeant is best known for which 1883-4 work which caused a public outcry in Paris and was a portrait of an eponymous society femme fatale?
(PORTRAIT OF) MADAME X
3a Which American airline company has been revealed to be the worst culprit when misplacing luggage, losing 573,419 bags last year?*
DELTA AIR LINES
3b Brian Master’s true crime book Killing for Company
tells the story of which English serial killer whose feelings of overwhelming loneliness led him to watching TV in the company of headless corpses?
4a Who was the winner of the first series of The Apprentice
, who formerly worked for London Underground and has now been put to work promoting an anti-wrinkle device called Integra
by Alan Sugar?
4b British Airways is not the worse culprit when it comes to European airlines losing luggage. Which is the only airline company to have a worse record?
1a Which popular mineral water comes from the Auvergne region, near Clermont-Ferrand?
1b What breakfast cereal celebrates its 100th anniversary on February 19 with the anniversary of the founding of its makers, but was actually first served at a health centre on March 7, 1897?
2a The second film to be directed by George Clooney, which new film looks at the conflict between senator Joe McCarthy and journalist Ed Murrow, whose sign-off for his news programme See It Now
gives the film its name?
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
2b Which popular mineral water comes from Blackford in Perthshire?
3a What was the first ever breakfast cereal?
3b Ann Marie Rogers recently lost her legal challenge over her local NHS trust’s refusal to fund treatment with which drug that had not yet been licensed for use in the early stages of breast cancer?
4a Also called Oseltamivir, what antiviral drg has been much in the news as it is the main drug for the treatment of bird flu?
4b Which forthcoming film from Traffic
scriptwriter Stephen Gaghan stars George Clooney as a betrayed CIA agent and takes its name from the geo-political nation that American neo-conservatives have envisioned covering the oil-rich nations of the Middle East?
1a What new name does the London Broncos rugby league team have for this year's Super League season?
1b Which ballroom dance is named after its inventor, a vaudeville actor who apparently was unable to find female dancers capable of performing the two-step, and so, to make it easier, added stagger steps, thus creating the dance's basic rhythm?*
FOXTROT (Harry Fox)
2a Alumni of which English public school include cricketer and commentator Jonathan Agnew, car and motorboat racer Donald Campbell, actor and writer Stephen Fry and actor Boris Karloff?
2b Alumni of which English independent school includes the writers Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Charles Lamb, as well as inventor Sir Barnes Wallis and comedian Mark Thomas?
3a Which New York club, famed for both its promotion of 70s punk music and its long-standing manager Hilly Kristal, will be closed down on Halloween after the owners of the building, the Bowery Residents Committee, terminated its lease?
CBGB (& OMFUG) (stands for Country, Bluegrass, and Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers)
3b Based in Perpignan, which new rugby league team opened their Super League season with a victory over Wigan?
4a Which Latin American style of dance is derived from the rumba and mambo in a 4/4 meter and has a name which originally referred to a component of a Haitian bell which made a noise when it was rubbed?
4b Famed for such patrons as Pierre Trudeau, Truman Capote and Bianca Jagger, which famed New York club was operated by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager before they were arrested and charged for skimming $2.5 million in 1979?
STUDIO 54Round 4
1a Known for her debut album Eye to the Telescope
, which Scottish-singer of Chinese and Irish parentage won the Best British Female Solo Artist Award at the Brits?
1b Sometimes called the "cradle of mankind
", which 30-mile long steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley is in the Serengeti Plains in northern Tanzania and is named after the Masai word for the wild sisal plant?
2a Set in 1940s London, The Night Watch
is the latest novel by which lesbian novelist?
2b Which hip-hop star, who was allegedly too scared to ask Prince for an autograph and recently released his second album Late Registration
, won the Best International Male prize at the Brits? KANYE WEST
3a The world's largest unbroken volcanic caldera, which crater is situated in an eponymous conservation area situated 180 km west of Arusha in Tanzania?
3b Taking its name from the house in which a girl called Silver lives, Tanglewreck
is the latest novel by which lesbian novelist?
4a Which Perrier award-winning stand-up comedian is the great great great great grandson of novelist William Makepeace Thackeray?
4b Preston, lead singer of The Ordinary Boys, has been revealed to be the great great great great grandson of which 19th century Prime Minister?*
EARL GREYRound 5
1a Part of the forthcoming season at the National Theatre, the Helen Edmundson play Coram Boy
looks at two orphans whose lives are linked by which institution that was founded by
Thomas Coram in 1739?
THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL
1b Designed by Lord Foster and engineer Michel Virlogeux, which cable-stayed bridge in southern France is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world with one pier's summit reaching 341m?
2a In which Devon town, on the river that forms part of its name, are flaming tar barrels carried throughout the town on Guy Fawkes Night?
OTTERY ST MARY
2b Hindus call their religion by what two-word name meaning "eternal reli
gion" or "eternal truth
3a Dharma, meaning the fulfillment of moral, social and religious duties is one of the four purposes of life in Hindusim. Name any of the other three.
ARTHA or KAMA or MOKSHA
3b Part of the forthcoming season at the National Theatre, the Peter Shaffer play The Royal Hunt of the Sun
looks at the relationship between Inca ruler Atahualpa and which Spanish conquistador?
4a Designed by Norman Foster and Partners, which 259m tall tower in Frankfurt was the tallest building in Europe until 2004?*
4b Held annually in midwinter, what fire festival in the Shetland Islands has a procession that ends in torches being thrown into replica Viking longships or galleys, all of which are sent seaward apart from the Lerwick galley?
UP HELLY-AARound 6
1a Founded in 1868 by Thomas Gibson Bowles, which British weekly magazine was subtitled "A Weekly Show of Political, Social and Literary Wares
1b Which British monthly fiction magazine was founded by George Newnes and was published from 1891 to 1950?
2a Which United States spy ship was boarded and captured by North Korean soldiers in 1968 and though currently on display in Pyongyang is still a commissioned vessel of the US Navy, in fact the second oldest to remain so?
2b For which company did aeronautical engineer Frank Ruby invent the first air-cushioned sole by injecting an inert gas into a polyurethane membrane?
3a In 2004, which company introduced the first 'intelligent shoe'
, a trainer with a sensor that adjusts the level of cushioning in the sole to suit the terrain and wearer?
3b Which then fourth division team caused a huge FA Cup upset by beating Leeds United 3-2 in a 1971 fifth round tie?
4a Which non-league team beat First Division Coventry City 2-1 in the third round of the FA Cup in 1989?
4b The oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy, which Joshua Humphreys-designed frigate was one of six such ships authorised for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and is also known as Old Ironsides?*
USS CONSTITUTIONRound 7
1a Which Greek philosopher first proposed in about 465 BC that matter exists in the form of imperishable and indivisible particles which he called "atomos
1b Shelly Rudman finished second in the bob skeleton in the Winter Olympics to a competitor of which nationality?
SWISS (MAYA PEDERSEN)
2a In the early days of the civil rights movement which Alabama city had a bus boycott during 1955 and 1956?
2a Famed for his recruiting abilities during World War One, which music hall entertainer was nicknamed the Prime Minister of Mirth and in one theatre promised "a shiny florin for every recruit who signs on tonight
3a Shelly Rudman's boyfriend Kristan Bromley finished fifth, while a competitor of which nationality won the men's bob skeleton?
CANADIAN (DUFF GIBSON)
3b Which British chemist and physicist first outlined his universal atomic theory in the third edition of his System of Chemistry in 1807 and elaborated on it in 1808's New System of Chemical Philosophy?
4a Once called "Scotland's greatest ever ambassador" by Winston Churchill, which entertainer organised a tour of music halls in 1915 for recruitment purposes and who would often say "Ten pounds for the first man here who joins the army
4b Police attacked civil rights protesters who had been marching on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in which Alabama city in 1965?*
1a Which famous 70s fashion boutique was situated at 430 King's Road, Chelsea?
1b Mary Quant opened which fashion boutique in Chelsea's King's Road in 1955?
2a In which Germany city will you find the Alte Pinakothek art gallery?
2b What is added to Scotch whisky to make a Rusty Nail cocktail?
3a What spirit is added to brandy in a Sidecar cocktail?
3b Though its effect was discovered in 1817 by Johann Bohnenberger, the gyroscope was invented and named in 1852 by which Frenchman for an experiment involving the Earth's rotation?
4a What variant of the gyroscope was designed by Lord Kelvin to illustrate the more complicated state of motion of a spinning body when free to wander on a horizontal plane, like a top spinning on the pavement?
4b In which German city is the Gewandhaus concert hall?
1 Inventor of modern chemical notation, which Swedish chemist is credited with the discovery and isolation of silicon, selenium and cerium as well as coining the terms isomer and catalyst?
JONS JAKOB BERZELIUS
2 The Limehouse Declaration led to the founding of which British political party?
SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
3 The attack on which fort on April 12, 186 , started the US Civil War?
4 Which Italian dramatist wrote Six Characters In Search of an Author
5 Meaning "fast" or "to hasten" in Hawaiian, what term describes a type of collaborative website that allow users to easily add and edit content?